Ontario Culture Days Looks Ahead
As 2020 Festival Wraps Up

The extended and expanded Ontario Culture Days festival 2020 sparkled with activity for four weeks from Sept 25 – Oct 25, 2020. And while the festival is done, there is much more to come from Ontario Culture Days through this website, our year-round portal onto the province’s arts & culture scene.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, said “the Government of Canada is pleased to support the incredible Ontario Culture Days festival through the Canadian Experiences Fund, delivered by FedDev Ontario. Like many other organizations and businesses across the country, Ontario Culture Days has had to pivot in order to continue with their mission. This is a success story of delivering a celebration of arts, culture and heritage to Ontarians at a time when we need it most.”

“Our government is proud to have supported Ontario Culture Days with an investment of $170,000 to expand their four-week celebration with hundreds of events across the province, both on-site and online,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Thank you to Culture Days for your incredible efforts and contributions, shining a light on our province’s unique cultural identity and bringing our communities together to see the world in one province at a time when it’s needed most.”

Ruth Burns, Ontario Culture Days Executive Director, said “We are thrilled with the success of this year’s festival, as it shifted from one weekend to four weeks, and from in-person events to digital programs. Our 2020 festival brought arts, heritage, and culture experiences to Ontarians at a time when inspiration, understanding, and creativity are clearly needed.”

And as we continue on from this year’s festival, it’s almost time for event organizers to be in the Spotlight! Nominations are open for extraordinary event organizers for Spotlight Award recognition. Digital online events count!

SPOTLIGHT

The Spotlight Recognition Program celebrates exemplary programming taking place each year as part of the Ontario Culture Days Festival. This year, Spotlight allows us to celebrate the ingenuity demonstrated by our organizers as they have adapted to extraordinary circumstances to connect with audiences.

STAFF PICKS

This Ontario Culture Days 2020 has been different in a lot of ways. One unexpected bonus has been a rich catalogue of online experiences from across the province. Here are some of our staff favourites.

2020 Creative Residences

New for 2020, Ontario Culture Days is excited to launch a new Creative Residency program, featuring a collection of 10 artists and arts organizations who are working with us to produce programming for the Culture Days festival and beyond.

CULTURE DAYS @ THE LIBRARY

We have partnered with the Toronto Public Library and local artists to produce pre-programmed activities throughout September and digital programming to be hosted over the course of the Culture Days festival.

DAY IN THE LIFE SERIES

Our new Day in the Life series will fly you into cultural hubs around the province to meet artists and visit arts organizations — all without leaving your home!

COLLECTIONS

Did you know that there are over 1000 events registered in Ontario? You might be wondering where to start but we have got you covered! Take a look at our library of Culture Days collections.

FEATURED POSTS & PROGRAMS

INDIGENESIS VIRTUAL COOKING DEMONSTRATION

Follow along as personal chef Tamara Green of Indigenesis shows you how to make a clay-baked bison roast paired with a wild ginger and blackberry sauce. Tamara focuses her menus on using only pre-contact ingredients, using traditional Indigenous cooking methods and re-imagining them with modern cooking techniques. 

AYAANGWAAMAZIN – “BE DETERMINED, BE CAREFUL” ANISHINAABE RESILIENCE THROUGH FASHION AND DESIGN

Ontario Culture Days worked with the Sault Ste Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre (IFC) and the Art Gallery of Algoma to produce a fashion show and photo shoot, featuring the Ribbon Shirts and Skirts made by members of the IFC.

‘IDENTITY’ A DISCUSSION WITH MATTHEW STEVENS

Listen to an interview and discussion on Indigenous identity with Matthew Stevens, Cultural Director at Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN), hosted by Scugog Arts Vice President of the Board, Jonathan Colwell.

CONTEST ALERT!

Tell us about the cultural experiences you’re looking forward to and be entered into a draw to win one of five Smartphone Video Kits!

Indigenous Language with Matthew Stevens

Matthew Stevens from the Mississauguas of Scugog Island First Nation, will teach the meaning behind common Indigenous words and paint a picture of how they have shaped language today.

THE WELCOME PROJECT

The Sharing Stories video collection is a glimpse into each individual’s practice within the experienced-based movement and memory process that connects to the theme of “home.”

FOOD TO PALETTE

Join artist Kanika Gupta as she shows us how to make natural watercolour paints out of everyday grocery store items in this video series directed by cinematographer Amit Kehar.

DIY DOLLS WITH LYNDE HOUSE MUSEUM

Digitally join instructor Patty Davis in the Lynde House Parlour and learn how to easily make an old-fashioned doll of your own. The program will cover two types of dolls, yarn dolls and rag dolls.

SHADOW PUPPET PERFORMANCE AND WORKSHOP

Learn how to make your own shadow puppets, or watch a performance created by Scala and Wolak.

MAKE YOUR OWN DARBY CAKES WITH LYNDE HOUSE MUSEUM

Have you ever wondered what families ate for breakfast 200 years ago? Virtually join instructor Mitchell Daniels in the Lynde House Kitchen, as he demonstrates how to make a traditional Georgian-era morning meal of Darby Cakes.

WOOL SPINNING WITH LYNDE HOUSE MUSEUM

Early Settler families had to make their own clothes, and this often included producing their own fabrics! Virtually join instructor Helena Turner in the Girl’s Bedroom at Lynde House, where she’ll demonstrate how sheep’s wool is converted into yarn using a spinning wheel.

STORYTIME ADVENTURES WITH SAGE TYRTLE

Turn on your ears and get ready to go on an adventure as professional storyteller Sage Tyrtle tells you the tale of a tricky spider, a wise rabbit, and lots and lots of food.

WRITE BETWEEN CULTURES WITH JUSTINE ABIGAIL YU FROM LIVING HYPHEN

We had the chance to learn a little bit more about one of our featured artists, Justine Abigail Yu, founder and editor-in-chief of Living Hyphen – a magazine and community that explores the experiences of people living in between cultures as hyphenated Canadians.

WEAVING WORDS TOGETHER WITH PAULINA O’KIEFFE-ANTHONY

Say it loud and say it proud! Award-winning spoken word artists and arts educator Paulina Anthony O’Keiffe has put together a list of writing prompts that will help you start weaving words together. Turn memories into poetry, stories into adventures, and thoughts into statements.

THE ECLECTIC BALLET CREOLE

You can’t quite put your finger on Ballet Creole. It’s fluid, a shapeshifter transforming with every new person, place, and practice it comes into contact with. Ever in flux, but always captivating, its thrived for thirty years under the guiding hand of its founder Patrick Parson.